A 70-YEAR-OLD woman who fell from her car died after suffering a serious head injury.
Sheila Moger, who lived in Church Road, Croydon, was holidaying in Eastbourne when the accident happened just outside ASDA on June 24 last year.
An inquest into her death took place at Eastbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday afternoon (February 2).
Coroner Alan Craze was told Ms Moger was an experienced driver, but she had most likely become confused just before the accident.
Seaford resident Lynda Byles was filling her car up with petrol that day and witnessed Mrs Moger looking confused at the pre-pay petrol pump.
She said, “I saw her go back to the car and she was sitting with her leg out the door and I thought that was maybe a more comfortable position for her to reach and get her bag.”
However, Ms Byles was confused when she saw the car start rolling forward and thought Mrs Moger might be moving forward to let someone else use the pump.
But the car Mrs Moger was driving then sped towards the exit of the petrol station with the door and petrol cap open and her leg still out the door.
She steered deliberately left which made her fall from the car.
Suzanne Alman, who also witnessed the incident while at the petrol station, said, “This red car shot by us on the left at an abnormal speed.”
Andrew Slark, a crash investigator for Sussex Police, said the accident was most likely cause by ‘unintended acceleration’, which involves the motorist confusing the brake and accelerator.
Mr Craze recorded a verdict of road traffic accident.
He described it as ‘bizarre’ and said, “In essence she is pressing the accelerator believing it is the brake and when it doesn’t do what she wants it to do she presses it harder.”
He added, “It is a pure tragic accident and there is no question or any suggestion of poor, careless or reckless driving. It is a pure accident in which confusion has played a part.”